For whatever reason the poster for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival throws a spotlight on a thoroughly mediocre 1963 Paul Newman-Joanne Woodward film that no one (and I mean no one) has watched since its initial release. A Paris-set romcom about the fashion industry, A New Kind of Love was a glossy confection that tried (or so I recall) to wear a bit of the French nouvelle vague attitude that had manifested most sublimely three years earlier in Jean Luc Godard‘s Breathless. Meant nothing, was nothing — check the reviews.

Woodward’s hair was blonde in the film (as it was in real life at the time) so who’s the brunette in the poster?

If the festival wanted to honor a Newman-Woodward film with a little French aroma, why not choose a slightly more respectable collaboration like Martin Ritt‘s Paris Blues (’61), which was actually shot in Paris as opposed to the phony-baloney New Kind of Love, which was mainly shot on Paramount sound stages? Or they could have paid tribute to the Oscar-nominated Rachel Rachel (’68), in which Woodward starred and Newman directed.

A New Kind of Love was advertised as having been shot “in blushing color.” It was so smug that the script actually had Newman’s character say to Woodward’s at one point, “I think maybe what we got here is a new kind of love” (or something close to that).

ANKOL was written, directed and produced by Melville Shavelson, the Gary Marshall or Shawn Levy of his time. Shavelson was mostly known for churning out coy, cutely constipated mainstream comedies like Houseboat, It Started in Naples, The Pigeon That Took Rome and Yours, Mine and Ours. (Okay, he also directed The Seven Little Foys, Beau James and Cast A Giant Shadow.)

From the festival’s website: “The poster evokes a luminous and tender image of the modern couple, intertwined in perfect balance at the heart of the dizzying whirlwind that is love. The vision of these two lovers caught in a vertiginous embrace, oblivious of the world around them, invites us to experience cinema with all the passion of an everlasting desire.”

“1963 lay somewhere between Ozzie and Harriet and Janis Joplin and A New Kind of Love was raunchy adult fare for the time…but sanitized. If you can imagine Paul Newman as a rakish cad who writes Beaudelaire verses on the bare bottoms of his nightly conquests and his real-life partner Joanne Woodward as a dikey dress-designer turned tender-hearted and vulnerable real woman posing as a prostitute after praying to St. Catherine, then you have a greater ability to suspend disbelief than I do.” — from an IMDB review.